Anyone Care for a Slice?

Although this Album has been out for a few months already, it is time to review “Underground” by The Last Slice.  The Last Slice is a 5-piece combo hailing from the Tulsa OK area and has been playing their version of ska since roughly 2008. “Underground” follows their 2012 release “Fresh Cuts.” Let’s have a little listen shall we?

  1. “Sea of Unknown”-“Sea of Unknown” is not quite punky, but yet packs more oomph than a slower, more traditional ska song.  While the singer can certainly stand on his own, he harmonizes well with the other vocals.  Great song!  Grade: A
  2. “Blind Date”-I really dig the use of the organ in this song.  It is found subtly in the background, but adds to the overall feel of the song.  Grade: A-
  3. “Seamless and Perfect”-Continuing right along with that traditional ‘ska guitar’, this song packs a similar punch as “Sea of the Unknown.”  It’s time to hit the dance floor with this number.  Don’t miss the sweet guitar solo around the 2:20 mark.   Grade: A
  4. “Chicks a Trip”- This one goes full force with blazin’ horns from the get go. I can see wanting to listen to this one over and over.  So far this is the front-runner for the best tune on the disc.  Grade: A+
  5. “Paulio”-“Paulio” slows things down with this slow-jam of a song.  I was unsure from the start, but I like this song.  In fact, I like it a lot.  So kick back, soak in the great harmonies and enjoy the ride.  Grade: A
  6. “Lincoln”-This song is a bit more aggressive than the previous ones, and is a pretty solid tune from start to finish. With so many great songs on this album they cannot all be my favorite and “Lincoln” is not my fave.  :  Grade: B+
  7. “Riot Radio”- This song is reminiscent of the ska-infused songs sung by Rancid (with much better vocals).  Again, around the 2 minute mark, don’t miss the saxophone solo as well as frequent rhythm changes throughout the song:  Grade: B+
  8. “Holiday”-Despite this being another slow song, this will make you want to skank from the comfort of your barstool (if that’s even possible).  This is one holiday you will surely want to take.  Grade: A
  9. “Strike”-Don’t get too comfortable!  This number is in your face with prominent organs and horn section.  This runs a close second to “Chicks a Trip.”  Grade: A
  10. “Artificial Krab”-The horn line in this one kind of reminds me of a game-show song.  Also the organs really stick out on in this one as well.  Grade: B+
  11. “She Knows”- An album wouldn’t be complete unless there was a drinkin’ song.  Not a rowdy drinking song mind you, but a “sit back and have a beer” drinking song.  Nice job gents!  Grade: A-
  12. “Underground”- Even with this last song, The Last Slice does not slow down the energy with this one.  Again, not my favorite song, but really solid vocals and instrumentation found throughout.    Grade: B+

Although this band has been around for several years, I just discovered them on the Ska Revival Compilation, volume 1.  This comp.  featured “Chicks a Trip” and was by far my favorite song on the disc.  This should come as no surprise as that is probably the strongest song on “Underground” as well.  In their Bim Skala Bim meets the Planet Smashers style, The Last Slice puts together an almost flawless album.  Let’s first talk about the instrumentation.  There is excellent use of the horn section as well as the organ.  If I am being nitpicky, I prefer bands with a trumpet as they can produce higher pitch sounds.  This being stated, they do make great use of the trombone and saxophone, taking care not the cancel the trombone out with the more mellow sound of the sax.  While instrumentation is certainly important and is the genre deciding part of the entire package, vocals are what set bands apart.  Vocals are what make me decide whether I hate a band or like a band.  They determine whether I like a band or love a band.   A lot of bands in the ska genre sound similar to each other, but The Last Slice’s lead singer, catapults them to the top of the heap.  He harmonizes well, but yet can stand alone, as mentioned previously. He can also pull off edgier songs as well as slower numbers such as “Paulio” and “Holiday.”  Overall this is a great, great record that is one of the best I have heard this year.  For those of you who think ska is dead, The Last Slice’s “Underground” will definitely prove you wrong.    Overall Grade: A

So what did you think? Share it my friend!

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